Art buff says he found centuries-old Raphael print in church

Raphael (1512-1513), Madonna di Sisto / The Sistine Madonna. From the collection of Old Masters Picture Gallery, Dresden State Art Museums

MINERAL, Va. (AP) – An art history buff believes he’s identified a centuries-old print of a famous painting in a small Virginia church.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Saturday that the print is at the Gilboa Christian Church in Mineral, Virginia. The mid-19th Century building is about an hour from Richmond.

Federico Colagrande believes the print is of Raphael’s “Madonna di San Sisto.” The 16th-century painting depicts the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus.

The original painting was sold to a ruler in Saxony in 1754. Then, Friedrich Müller made prints from the original. Only a handful of those prints exist today.

Colagrande believes the print is a “Müller Madonna,” because Müller’s name is on it, among other clues. Such prints are found in museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com

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